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H.285

Introduced by   Representatives Baker of West Rutland, Branagan of Georgia, Chen of Mendon, Corcoran of Bennington, Donaghy of Poultney, Dunsmore of Georgia, Helm of Castleton, Howrigan of Fairfield, Kennedy of Chelsea, Louras of Rutland City, Morley of Barton, Morrissey of Bennington, Parent of St. Albans City, Shaw of Derby and Valliere of Barre City

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Government operations; veterans; records; disclosure

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to exempt from public disclosure veterans’ records filed, received, or maintained by a municipality.

AN ACT RELATING TO PUBLIC DISCLOSURE OF VETERANS’ RECORDS

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  1 V.S.A. § 317(c) is amended to read:

(c)  The following public records are exempt from public inspection and copying:

* * *

(22)  any documents filed, received, or maintained by the agency of commerce and community development with regard to administration of 32 V.S.A. chapter 151, subchapters 11C and 11D (new jobs tax credit; manufacturer's tax credit), except that all such documents shall become public records under this section subchapter when a tax credit certification has been granted by the secretary of administration, and provided that the disclosure of such documents does not otherwise violate any provision of Title 32.;

(23)  any data, records or information developed, discovered, collected, or received by or on behalf of faculty, staff, employees or students of the University of Vermont or the Vermont state colleges in the conduct of study, research or creative efforts on medical, scientific, technical, scholarly, or artistic matters, whether such activities are sponsored alone by the institution or in conjunction with a governmental body or private entity, until such data, records or information are published, disclosed in an issued patent or publicly released by the institution or its authorized agents.  This subdivision applies to, but is not limited to, research notes and laboratory notebooks, lecture notes, manuscripts, creative works, correspondence, research proposals and agreements, methodologies, protocols, and the identities of or any personally identifiable information about participants in research.;

(24)  records of, or internal materials prepared for, the deliberations of any public agency acting in a judicial or quasi-judicial capacity.;

(25)  passwords, access codes, user identifications, security procedures, and similar information the disclosure of which would threaten the safety of persons or the security of public property.;

(26)  information and records provided to the department of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration by an individual for the purposes of having the department assist that individual in resolving a dispute with any person or company regulated by the department, and any information or records provided by a company or any other person in connection with the individual's dispute.;

(27)  information and records provided to the department of public service by an individual for the purposes of having the department assist that individual in resolving a dispute with a utility regulated by the department, or by the utility or any other person in connection with the individual's dispute.;

(28)  records of, and internal materials prepared for, independent external reviews of health care service decisions pursuant to 8 V.S.A. § 4089f and of mental health care service decisions pursuant to 8 V.S.A. § 4089a.;

(29)  the records in the custody of the secretary of state of a participant in the address confidentiality program described in chapter 21, subchapter 3 of chapter 21 of Title 15, except as provided in that subchapter.;

(30)  all code and machine-readable structures of state-funded and controlled database applications, which are known only to certain state departments engaging in marketing activities and which give the state an opportunity to obtain a marketing advantage over any other state, regional or local governmental or nonprofit quasi-governmental entity, or private sector entity, unless any such state department engaging in marketing activities determines that the license or other voluntary disclosure of such materials is in the state's best interests.;

(31)  records of a registered voter's month and day of birth, motor vehicle operator's license number, the last four digits of the applicant's Social Security number, and street address if different from the applicant's mailing address contained in an application to the statewide voter checklist or the statewide voter checklist established under section 2154 of Title 17.;

(32)  with respect to publicly-owned, -managed, or -leased structures, and only to the extent that release of information contained in the record would present a substantial likelihood of jeopardizing the safety of persons or the security of public property, final building plans and as-built plans, including drafts of security systems within a facility, that depict the internal layout and structural elements of buildings, facilities, infrastructures, systems, or other structures owned, operated, or leased by an agency before, on, or after the effective date of this provision; emergency evacuation, escape, or other emergency response plans that have not been published for public use; and vulnerability assessments, operation and security manuals, plans, and security codes.  For purposes of this subdivision, "system" shall include electrical, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, telecommunication, elevator, and security systems.  Information made exempt by this subdivision may be disclosed to another governmental entity if disclosure is necessary for the receiving entity to perform its duties and responsibilities; to a licensed architect, engineer, or contractor who is bidding on or performing work on or related to buildings, facilities, infrastructures, systems, or other structures owned, operated, or leased by the state.  The entities or persons receiving such information shall maintain the exempt status of the information.  Such information may also be disclosed by order of a court of competent jurisdiction, which may impose protective conditions on the release of such information as it deems appropriate.  Nothing in this subdivision shall preclude or limit the right of the general assembly or its committees to examine such information in carrying out its responsibilities or to subpoena such information.  In exercising the exemption set forth in this subdivision and denying access to information requested, the custodian of the information shall articulate the grounds for the denial.;

(33)  the account numbers for bank, debit, charge, and credit cards held by an agency or its employees on behalf of the agency.;

(34)  affidavits of income and assets as provided in section 662 of Title 15 and Rule 4 of the Vermont Rules for Family Procedure.;

(35)  Social Security numbers or other governmentally assigned personal identification numbers contained in one of the following:  the records of a computerized assessment, generally known as the computer assisted mass appraisal system (CAMA), as provided in section 3465 of Title 32; the grand list as defined by section 4152 of Title 32; or property transfer tax returns.  However, any party in a legal transaction or proceeding related to a specific parcel of property shall have access to any court-required data;

(36)  military records of a veteran of the armed forces of the United States filed, recorded, or maintained by a municipality.  Such records shall be available only to the veteran, the veteran’s next of kin, a deceased veteran’s properly appointed personal representative or executor, a person holding the veteran’s general power of attorney, the U.S. Department of Defense, or the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs.  Such records shall be returned to the veteran or the veteran’s next of kin upon his or her request.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us